Drawing From Photos

A lot of people draw from photos.  In fact, a lot of people think the very idea of drawing on location to be too scary to consider.  Some say that drawing from photos is easier than drawing from life because the camera has reduced the image to two dimensions.

So what’s wrong with me?  I love sketching on the street, drawing from life, and interacting with those very people that scare others.  I sort of understand this part because mostly it’s a fear of the unknown that causes others to avoid this form of sketching.  But what about photos?  Why do I find it soooooooo hard to draw from photos.

Not only does drawing photos seem hard for me, it’s also not very much fun.  Instead of drawing and enjoying the process, I feel as though I’m just copying someone else’s vision of the universe, even if I took the photo.  I almost feel numb while doing it, as opposed to the fully-engaged feeling I have when sketching from life.

So I repeat, what’s wrong with me and how do I fix it?  I spend five months of the year where it’s hard (impossible?) to work outdoors.  Drawing from photographs would go a long way towards making the long dark winters of Quebec more bearable.  Is there a pill I can take?

Anyway, I felt the need to draw a building and it’s too cold to do so on location.  I turned to photos, in this case a photo I took this summer of Le Petit Hotel, one of the cutest little hotels in Quebec City.  Done on Stillman & Birn Beta paper with a Namiki Falcon and DeAtramentis Document Black ink.  Then I added some dabs of Daniel Smith watercolors.  I didn’t do it justice.